Penni's Reviews > Storytellers

Storytellers by Bjørn Larssen
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it was amazing

What an amazing book! I had the great privilege of reading this early, and let me tell you, I am honored I did.

Hermit blacksmith Gunnar just wants to be left the hell alone with his animals and his "medication" (re: booze) so he can while away his days at his smithy and pass his nights dead asleep. He's not good with people and resents any time he has to spend with anyone (including the doctor who "prescribes" his "medicine"). Unfortunately for Gunnar, fate has other plans.

Sigurd seemingly appears out of nowhere with a broken ankle, and unfortunately for Gunnar, it's on his doorstep. Gunnar would rather the man hobble away to die somewhere in a field, but he reluctantly does the right thing and takes the stranger in.

While recuperating, Sigurd begins to spin a fantastical tale about the residents of a sleepy town who's lives are upended by the arrival of an old resident, a new bride, a new pastor and a suspected "witch." Throw in the building of a new church and love triangle, and even loner Gunnar finds himself transfixed--by both the stranger and the story.

This is a slow burn book, and one that must be read curled up in a favorite chair, bundled under a well-worn blanket, and sipping a comforting cup of hot tea. The tale(s) take time to tell (as this book is a story within a story), and patience is a must. But the rewards are immeasurable. The ending does speed up and the twists are shocking (I pride myself on figuring out mysteries and plots as I go, and I have to say, I was not only on the edge of my seat, I never saw the ending coming).

Larssen is a new voice to be reckoned with (although if you follow his blog, you'll know he's been writing great essays for years). His prose paints a detailed picture. You can clearly see the people he speaks of, feel the bitter cold in the air, mourn the losses as your own. Being a modern female in America, I shouldn't know what it's like to be a desperate, poor, cold Icelander in the winter of 1920 (and earlier). But I do, thanks to this writer's ability to weave a rich tapestry of plots, characters and ideas together. I look forward to other great works this author has to tell.
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Reading Progress

September 11, 2018 – Started Reading
September 15, 2018 – Finished Reading
March 8, 2019 – Shelved

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